Group Leaders: Jennifer A. Sumner PhD and Erika J. Wolf PhD
The PGC-PTSD Physical Health Workgroup aims to examine how genetic and epigenetic factors play a role in the comorbidity of PTSD and physical health conditions. Growing research links PTSD to a range of cardiometabolic conditions and diseases of aging, including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and dementia. However, the extent to which genetic and epigenetic factors are involved in these associations remains unclear. The PGC- PTSD Physical Health Workgroup developed to address these questions by harnessing the power of collaborative, consortium-based efforts. The goals of this workgroup include: 1) examining the extent to which overlapping genetic factors predispose individuals to both PTSD and these physical health conditions, and 2) investigating how genetic factors may contribute to increased risk for or resilience to developing these physical health outcomes in individuals with PTSD. In pursuit of these goals, we are creating a large data set of studies with information on PTSD, genetic and epigenetic data, health-related biomarkers (e.g., inflammatory markers, lipids) and intermediates (e.g., body mass index, blood pressure), cognitive function, and chronic health conditions (e.g., cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome). To date, several groups within the PGC-PTSD have genome-wide genotype data as well as data on physical health-related variables, with current total N=19,183.